Friday, May 5, 2017

11:52 PM 5/5/2017 - Senate asks Trump associates for details on Russian contacts Friday May 5th, 2017 at 10:54 PM

Director James Comey and senior FBI executives meeting with community leaders about threats to Jewish institutions. Flickr: FBI

Director James Comey and senior FBI executives met with community leaders today about threats to Jewish institutions and to affirm the Bureau's commitment to ensure safe communities.
Trump's Twitter rants are boringly repetitive news at this point, but it was a tad unexpected when he threw FBI Director James Comey under the bus Tuesday night.
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Senate asks Trump associates for details on Russian contacts

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"I am eager, indeed anxious, to testify in full public session, have requested no immunity and am ready to go," Stone wrote. He also said that he "rejects" the claim that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Guccifer 2.0 are Russian assets. He said the U.S. government has offered no proof to support that assessment.
Stone communicated through Twitter direct messages with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker who has claimed responsibility for breaching the Democratic National Committee. Stone has said that he was unaware at the time that U.S. officials believed the hacker had ties to Russia.
The letters to Stone and Page, which were shared with the AP on Friday, were virtually identical. The committee asked them to provide emails, text messages, letters, phone records or any other relevant information they have about meetings or contacts that they or any other individual affiliated with the Trump campaign had with Russian officials or representatives of Russian business interests.
The requests seek information about any contacts that occurred between the day Trump announced his candidacy, June 16, 2015, and his inauguration on Jan. 20. It also asks for information about Stone and Page's financial and real estate holdings related to Russia, including financial securities or holdings they might have sold or divested during that period.
In a written response to the committee's request, Page argued that the panel was conducting a "comically fake inquiry." At the same time, Page pledged to cooperate with the committee to "help resolve all of the false allegations which led to this fanciful witch hunt in the first place."
The committee also asks that Page and Stone appear for closed interviews with intelligence committee staff. Lawmakers set a May 9 and May 19 deadline for various materials to be provided to the committee.
Page told the committee that the material he has will be "minuscule in comparison to the full database of information" the Obama administration collected during "last year's completely unjustified" secret warrant. Page said law enforcement officials under the Obama administration obtained a sealed order from a secretive intelligence court last summer to monitor his communications to investigate whether he was acting as a Russian agent.
Page said the warrant put him under "unscrupulous surveillance for many months" and targeted him for exercising his First Amendment rights both in 2016 and earlier.
Page met with a Russian intelligence operative in 2013 and provided him documents about the energy industry, according to court documents from a 2015 prosecution alleging a Cold War-style spy ring in New York. Page, referred to in the filing as "Male-1," is not accused of wrongdoing and said in a statement that he shared "basic immaterial information and publicly available research documents."
Little is known about Page's role in the campaign.
In March, Trump personally announced that Page was part of a newly minted foreign policy advisory team. But as questions began swirling about Page's ties to Russia, the campaign started moving away from the investment banker. Trump has since said he has no relationship with him.
"I originally joined the Trump movement and eventually volunteered for a small, unpaid, informal role in the campaign since I knew our candidate would finally help lead this country and the world toward peace through strength," Page said in his letter to the committee.
Flynn, Trump's ousted national security adviser, also received a letter from the committee asking him to turn over information and documents related to the committee's investigation into potential ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia. A person with direct knowledge of the letter's contents confirmed Flynn received it. The person demanded anonymity to discuss the information because of its sensitive nature.
Watch: Flynn's own feelings about immunity
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WATCH: Keith Olbermann lays out evidence that a Trump-Russia grand jury has already been convened

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WATCH: Keith Olbermann lays out evidence that a Trump-Russia grand jury has already been convened

Elizabeth Preza
Elizabeth Preza
05 May 2017 at 15:00 ET                   
Keith Olbermann on Friday set aside his usual “hyperbole” to lay out new developments in the FBI’s ongoing investigation into possible collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives—including that a grand jury may have been convened on the matter.
Olbermann began his latest installment of GQ’s “The Resistance” by pointing out there is “strong reason to believe there is a grand jury sitting in the Eastern district of Virginia right now. hearing evidence about the connections between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Russians.”
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Olbermann said this was all-but “confirmed when FBI Director James Comey” testified before the Senate Judiciary committee,” revealing that the FBI is “coordinating” with “two sets of prosecutors,” including the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.
“I asked the smartest man I know, John Dean—Nixon’s White House Counsel, and the survivor of presidential scandals past—to translate what coordinating could mean,” Olbermann said.
“Coordinating with the office of the U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia? John Dean says Comey’s testimony makes it difficult to believe that there is not a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia,” the GQ host added.
Squaring the information provided by Comey with information uncovered by former Clinton White House staffer Claude Taylor, Olbermann argued there were “no hyperboles needed” to draw a conclusion that a grand jury is investigation the Trump campaign.
Watch the video below, via YouTube:
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Trump and Bannon ‘Personally Intervened’ to Save Seb Gorka

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When the White House backed off its efforts to dump Sebastian Gorka on another federal agency, the controversial counterterrorism advisor had the president himself to thank, The Daily Beast has learned.
After news emerged last week that the Trump administration was setting the stage to move the British-born national security aide out of the White House, President Donald Trump and his chief strategist Stephen Bannon “personally intervened” to put a halt to Gorka’s White House eviction, two senior administration sources said.
Last Friday, The Daily Beast broke the news that the Trump administration had been actively exploring options to remove Gorka from the West Wing, where he serves as “deputy assistant” to the president, and place him at another federal agency. News of Gorka’s looming departure from the White House came amid security clearance issues and a mounting controversy over his involvement with a far-right Hungarian group notorious for its collaboration with the Nazi regime during the World War II. Gorka also holds fringe, clash-of-civilization views that many have criticized as anti-Muslim and extreme.
Senior administration sources described the situation to The Daily Beast last week as “a pain in the ass,” and said that Gorka—“biding his time” on the federal payroll—had virtually zero substantive duties at the White House or role in its decision-making or national-security policy decisions.
However, Gorka owes his continued presence in the White House to President Trump himself, who views him as a robust communicator of the administration’s anti-terrorism, anti-ISIS policies, particularly on conservative radio and TV interviews.
Gorka and Bannon are close. They worked together at Breitbart News—the far-right Trump-boosting outlet that Bannon once ran as a “dictator,” according to former employees—where Gorka served as national security editor even as he was also a paid consultant for the Trump campaign.
As the White House explored alternative employment for Gorka, staffers there dropped hints to other agencies that he was in Trump’s good graces. According to a senior administration official, who described the comment as a subtle suggestion that Gorka should be given a post in the official’s office, the White House referred to Gorka in those interagency communications “a friend of the president.”
Following The Daily Beast’s initial report last week, rumors swirled that Gorka’s expulsion from the White House was mere moments away. That’s when Bannon stepped in.
“[Bannon] put a stop to it—he’s loyal and a friend’s job was in danger and reputation was getting dragged through the mud,” another Trump administration official said, noting that Bannon had acted “decisively” to lobby for one of his ideological and personal allies in the West Wing. Trump then privately assured Gorka that his job was safe for now.
It was at this point that interagency chatter regarding moving Gorka out of the White House abruptly ceased.
According to multiple administration sources, a White House faction led by Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, isn’t pleased with this development. Kushner, who warred with Team Bannon last month, also co-founded with Bannon the Strategic Initiatives Group, an informal think tank within the White House. Though Gorka was a member of the group, one White House source says Kushner now views him as a “clown” and wants nothing to do with him.
Still, Gorka is sitting pretty this week.
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He told a reporter with Ami Magazine that he had personally met with Trump in the wake of reports of his impending departure, according to a since-deleted tweet from the Jewish publication. The president, Gorka said, assured him that “he’s not being asked to step down.”
But he did not shut the door on a White House departure. “I will be in the White House as long as the president wants me there, and if he needs me to do something somewhere else, I will do whatever he needs me to do,” Gorka told Fox News Radio.
The White House also seemed to leave the door open to a future move. Asked about reports of Gorka’s ouster on Monday, press secretary Sean Spicer said he had “no personnel announcement at the time. I have no belief that he is currently leaving the White House.”
The initial pressure to place Gorka at another agency riled some administration officials who viewed him as a liability—no matter where he was. One official at an agency to which the White House had shopped Gorka saw it as an attempt to offload a staffer with few official duties and mounting public relations baggage without having to upset the president and Gorka’s other White House allies.
For now, Trump’s affinity for Gorka and his ability to communicate administration policy on national security matters means he is staying put, even if his official duties remain sparse.
“The president really likes him and appreciates him as a good spokesperson for the administration, but he isn’t part of the [National Security Council] policy making process,” a senior administration official said of Gorka last month, adding that his contributions to foreign policy have been minimal, with National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster’s team overshadowing the relevance of his input. Officials spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive personnel matters.
Gorka ignored questions about his future employment plans after a speech to the Republican National Lawyers Association’s annual policy conference in Washington on Friday morning. He rushed to the elevator as New York attorney and RNLA vice-chair Larry Levy tried to keep a physical barrier between Gorka and a Daily Beast reporter.
“We’re not taking press questions at this time,” Levy said as he attempted to block a hallway at the National Press Club.
Gorka simply asked The Daily Beast on Friday morning if we had emailed the White House press shop. He had previously asked that questions be put in an email to him directly. He hasn’t responded to multiple requests for comment since.
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Court orders State Dept to release...

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Court orders State Dept to release Clinton emails on Benghazi attack

RT - ‎6 hours ago‎
A Washington DC federal court judge has ordered the State Department to turn over Hillary Clinton's emails that immediately followed the terrorist attack in Benghazi to the conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch. US District Judge Amy Berman ...

Did Huma Abedin And Anthony Weiner Topple Hillary Clinton's Empire? [Opinion]

The Inquisitr - ‎3 hours ago‎
The following article is entirely the opinion of Roz Zurko and does not reflect the views of the Inquisitr. While Hillary Clinton is pointing her election loss finger of blame at anyone who stands still long enough, it looks as though it was an inside ...

Court orders release of Benghazi-related emails from Clinton

Business Insider - ‎10 hours ago‎
A federal judge has ordered the State Department to turn over eight paragraphs of redacted materials from Hillary Clinton's emails which are likely to shed more light into what the Obama administration knew about the Benghazi attack two days after it ...

Judge Orders Text Of Clinton Emails On Benghazi To Be Released

Western Journalism - ‎6 hours ago‎
The full contents of two Hillary Clinton emails about the Benghazi attack will soon be brought to light in the wake of a federal judge's ruling Friday that the State Department has to share with the American people the contents of two emails sent two ...

Judge Rules State Department Must Release Clinton Benghazi Emails

Independent Journal Review - ‎6 hours ago‎
The most famous question of the Watergate hearings was arguably the one asked by the late Tennessee senator, Howard Baker, in reference to President Richard Nixon. “What did the president know, and when did he know it?” The same question has been ...
Read the whole story
 
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Trump Campaign Associates Questioned Over Russia Ties

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WASHINGTON—The Senate Intelligence Committee has sent letters to at least four former associates of the Trump campaign asking for information and records about their activities before and after the 2016 election, a sign that the committee’s probe into alleged Russian campaign interference is heating up.
The committee, which carries subpoena power, sent letters to former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort, former national security...

James Comey an Embarrassment to the FBI, Must Go

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James Comey an Embarrassment to the FBI, Must Go
FBI Director James Comey has been caught going around to secret Congressional briefings recently touting thefake “Trump Dossier.”
He is claiming that it is a Key foundation of the FBI’s investigation of purported Russian collusion with President Trump to interfere in the election, several months after the FBI had already assessed the “dossier” as non-credible.
Director Comey seems not to grasp the nature of the damage he’s inflicting on the Bureau and its reputation for efficient information-gathering and law enforcement.
He is lost in a “wilderness of mirrors,” to use intelligence jargon popularized by the CIA’s legendary anti-communist mole-hunter James Jesus Angleton.
This “Trump Dossier” is the controversial document supposedly composed by ex-British MI6 agent Christopher Steele through the group known as Fusion GPS. Paid for by still-unidentified Hillary Clinton supporters, it was opposition research against then-candidate, now President, Donald Trump.
Fusion GPS has been revealed to be a pro-Russia lobby by Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA).
British citizen Steele admitted he had larger plans than writing the “dossier” itself, but “really thought that what he had would sway the election“—by using the “dossier” to defeat Donald Trump, said an associate to the BBC. That is called foreign interference in a US election.
At this point, here is what we know for sure: the document, which was designed to prove that Donald Trump is a Russian agent, originated with a group working on behalf of Russian interests and the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Indeed, evidence points to Russian involvement via Hillary financiers and their hired-gun Russia lobby firm Fusion GPS—in fabricating the “dossier” to discredit Donald Trump by claiming that he was part of a conspiracy to help elect himself President.
A Russia expert with 50 years’ experience says the “dossier” reads like it was written by “a Russian trained in the KGB tradition.” Its “poor grammar and shaky spelling” with “KGB-style intelligence reporting” just does not “fit the image” of work by a “highly connected former British intelligence” officer, who was Oxford educated.
The Russians may have cobbled the “dossier” material together and passed it on to Fusion GPS and Mr. Steele to assemble and edit for Hillary backers.
This means that the House and Senate Intelligence committees have been investigating the wrong alleged scandal. It’s not President Trump and his associates who should be under scrutiny; it is Hillary Clinton and her paid operatives, and their ties to Russia.
The Big Q’s:
  1. Has the FBI and the MI5 security service, opened a case against Mr.  Steele to investigate him for working for a Russian lobbying firm operating in the US?
  2. Or was Mr. Steele working undercover for MI6 to infiltrate the Russian lobby?
On the other hand, Mr. Steele was a “confirmed socialist” in college at Oxford when he was hired by MI6, another point of suspicion for someone who would be dispatched to Moscow as a spy and later serve as head of the Russian desk at MI6, all extremely sensitive positions.
Do you remember the Cambridge Five Soviet spy ring?
In a significant development, The Washington Times now reports that Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s personal attorney, is considering legal action against BuzzFeed, which posted the fraudulent “dossier” that accused Mr. Cohen of conspiring with Russian agents. But Mr. Cohen never went to Prague, it was a “different Michael Cohen” who went there.
Mr. Cohen told The Washington Times that he also is considering a lawsuit against Christopher Steele.
Mr. Cohen was probably chosen to be named in the “dossier” by its fabricators because the pro-Hillary media went viral against him for a campaign comment he made that enraged them. Mr. Cohen had dared to defy all the polls predicting Hillary Clinto would win, by saying, “says who?”—resulting in an extraordinary but belated post-election apology by The Washington Post.
A Cohen Lawsuit could slow down the efforts by losing leftist Democrats and their minions to use the dossier as proof of a Russian conspiracy with President Trump.
It appears that the only significant Russia connection the media have left is the story that Accuracy in Media first broke in Y 2015 when we revealed Lt. General Michael T. Flynn’s (Ret US Army) attendance at a public conference in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
This was to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the propaganda channel “RT” (Russia Today), aka “KGB-TV.” Gen. Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), became President Trump’s national security adviser before resigning over apparent misrepresentations he made to Vice President Mike Pence about his perfectly appropriate conversations with the Russian ambassador.
The idea that Gen. Flynn was in any sense a Russia agent was undermined by the contents of his book, The Field of Fight, arguing that Russia and China are behind an “enemy alliance” of countries and movements trying to destroy the US.
Whether Gen. Flynn disclosed the entire story about his Russian contacts remains to be seen.
The matter is irrelevant to the far more serious issue in Gen. Flynn’s case, namely the illegal disclosure of his wiretapped conversations to CIA mouthpiece David Ignatius of The Washington Post.
Unraveling how and why this occurred could shed light on the Watergate-style surveillance that President Barack Hussein Obama or his aides authorized on The Trump Campaign and how the political intelligence was shared with Hillary Clintons operatives in the bureaucracy.
Accuracy in Media (AIM) have pointed out the absurdities in the “dossier.”
Some of the major media have acknowledged them as well. The document is a poorly slapped together collage of ridiculous contradictions and absurdity .
The day the “dossier” was published, 11 January 2017, Newsweek posted an analysis, “Thirteen Things That Don’t Add Up in the Russia-Trump Intelligence Dossier,” with a video presentation titled “8 Reasons to be Skeptical.”
The fact is that Newsweek had months to study the “dossier,” since its initial enthusiastic anti-Trump report made in time to influence the election. Newsweek saw some grave problems but withheld them until prompted to go public by the publication of the full 35-page “dossier.”
Newsweek caught one of the most glaring contradictions in the “dossier,” namely a paragraph saying that Russia “fed” Donald Trump compromising intelligence on Hillary Clinton, the next saying they never did.
In a damning denial widely overlooked by the mainstream media, the BBC’s reporter covering the “Trump dossier” stated that:
“A former CIA officer told me he had spoken by phone to a serving [Russian intelligence] FSB officer who talked about the [claims of Trump sex] tapes. He concluded: ‘It’s hokey as hell.’” (BBC, 12 January emphasis added)
Another intelligence source explained to the BBC how these “kompromat” (compromising) stories are made up by Russian intelligence for reasons of ego and pride:
“One Russian specialist told me…that [Russian] FSB officers are prone to boasting about having tapes on public figures [such as Trump], and to be careful of any statements they might make.” (BBC, 12 January)
But the hostile anti-Trump media claim the opposite, and insinuate that the “Trump dossier” might still be credible by seizing upon any hint of interest by US intelligence, such as FBI director Comey’s secret briefings.
Director Comey has nothing else to prop up his fast-fading case for investigating Donald Trump’s associates except by the desperate grasping of straws within the fake “dossier.”
Key: No “smoking gun” has ever been found.
We can wait till hell freezes over, the material is not verifiable, and that is because the “dossier is fake news.
Indeed, despite its flaws and absurdities, the BBC reports that the FBI has been using the notorious fake “Trump dossier” as its “roadmap” in its baseless investigation of purported collusion between Donald Trump and the Russians to get him elected, and of other allegations of Russian “interference” in the election.
Such charges, prominently featured in the major media (about 200 articles on the fake “dossier” in The Washington Post and New York Times alone), are obviously a factor in President Trump’s low approval ratings at the 100-Day point in his administration.
Based on a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, President Trump would still beat Hillary Clinton if the election were held today, including by 43-40% in the popular vote.
Now, in view of reports that the FBI relied on the discredited “dossier” to justify getting a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrant against 1-time Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning issued a statement demanding that Director Comey either step down or be fired.
“The FBI’s incredible incompetence and outright complicity with the politicization of government spying removes the last shred of credibility that Director James Comey has and he needs to either resign or be fired,” said Mr. Manning.
Journalist Bob Woodward of Watergate fame called the “dossier” a “garbage document” and said US intelligence chiefs (thus including FBI’s Director Comey) should “apologize” to Presient Trump for promoting it. A British director of an investigations firm told Newsweek that the “dossier” is “bull shit territory” and a “shoddy piece of work.” A US intelligence official called it a “nutty” thing to report to the President.
The FBI attempted to pay Mr. Steele $50,000 to continue his phony pro-Hillary, anti-Trump “investigation” in October 2016, just before the election. But the increasing media publicity of the shadowy “dossier” forced the Bureau to walk away, until now with Director Comey seemingly trying to breathe life back into the dead hoax.
Director Comey’s conduct is almost as bizarre as the wild charges in the “Trump dossier.” In fact, he has been promoting the “Trump dossier,” even as his own FBI and the rest of the Intelligence Community (IC) have been “distancing themselves” from it, according to CNN, no friend of Trump.
CNN’s report on this issue was immediately twisted around by Business Insider into a fraudulent headline that says the exact opposite, namely that “We just got a huge sign that the US intelligence community believes the Trump dossier is legitimate.”
But after more than 6 months of investigation, the FBI admitted that the “Trump dossier” was totally unsubstantiated.
According to The New York Times on 14 February 2017: “One American law enforcement official said that FBI agents had made contact with some of Mr. Steele’s sources. The FBI has spent several months investigating the leads in the dossier, but has yet to confirm any of its most explosive claims.”
Intelligence agency officials have consistently denied finding any evidence for such Trump collusion with the Russians, in the “dossier” or in any other material, such as NSA-GCHQ digital wiretaps of President Trump associates, despite enormous efforts by the media to suggest otherwise—even to flagrantly contradict the media’s own reporting.
But Director Comey is still promoting, not investigating or critiquing the fake “dossier,” apparently to justify the Bureau’s use of the document as the basis for its investigation of President Trump in the 1st place.
Director Comey has become a major embarrassment to the FBI, he must go.
By Accuracy in Media
Paul Ebeling, Editor
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Paul Ebeling

Paul A. Ebeling, polymath, excels in diverse fields of knowledge. Pattern Recognition Analyst in Equities, Commodities and Foreign Exchange and author of “The Red Roadmaster’s Technical Report” on the US Major Market Indices™, a highly regarded, weekly financial market letter, he is also a philosopher, issuing insights on a wide range of subjects to a following of over 250,000 cohorts. An international audience of opinion makers, business leaders, and global organizations recognizes Ebeling as an expert.

Latest posts by Paul Ebeling (see all)

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Comey pressed for anti-Trump dossier...

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Comey pressed for anti-Trump dossier in classified Russia report, sources say

Fox News - ‎9 hours ago‎
FBI Director James Comey considered an anti-Trump dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer so important that he insisted the document be included in January's final intelligence community report on Russian meddling in the U.S. election ...

Report: Senators Pressed FBI's Comey on Russian Dossier

Newsmax - ‎2 hours ago‎
Senators pressed FBI Director James Comey this week on an unsubstantiated dossier that intelligence officials included in a classified report to former President Barack Obama days before President Donald Trump took office in January. Sources told Fox ...

Comey insisted on including unverified Trump dossier in official report on Russian hacking

Raw Story - ‎5 hours ago‎
FBI Director James Comey found evidence compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele so compelling that he included it in the intelligence community report on Russian interference in the U.S. election completed this past January. Sources told Fox ...

So, That Russian Dossier Might Have Been Funded By The Russians?

Townhall - ‎May 4, 2017‎
So, remember that Russian dossier that was compiled by a former MI6 operative, which is unsubstantiated though Democrats take it as fact? Well, it could very well be a Russian-funded effort. What we do know so far, going by CNN, is that senior Russian ...

Comey Refuses To Publicly Address FBI Ties To 'Peeing Russian Prostitutes' Dossier

Breitbart News - ‎May 4, 2017‎
During yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on FBI oversight, FBI Director James B. Comey repeatedly refused to answer questions about his agency's ties to the controversial, partially discredited 35-page dossier alleging collusion between ...
Read the whole story
 
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Trump Attacks His Own FBI Director In Late Night Twitter Tirade

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Trump's Twitter rants are boringly repetitive news at this point, but it was a tad unexpected when he threw FBI Director James Comey under the bus Tuesday night.
Director James Comey and senior FBI executives meeting with community leaders about threats to Jewish institutions. Flickr: FBI
If there is anything President Donald Trump can be relied upon for, it's Twitter tirades and blustering attacks on anyone he feels slighted by.
On Tuesday night, he took to his preferred social media platform to revisit one of his favorite topics (his 2016 election win) while savaging his favorite victim (Hillary Clinton). However, he also threw FBI Director James Comey into the mess, a typically nonsensical Trump move.
His tweets were most likely triggered by Hillary Clinton's comments at the Women for Women International Luncheon just hours earlier. In a conversation with journalist Christiane Amanpour, she said:
"I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on Oct. 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off — and the evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling [and] persuasive.”
Clinton and Amanpour predicted Trump would respond, and he certainly did, lashing out at the claims on Twitter that same night.
It was a low and poorly thought out attack, as he ended up calling the professionalism of his own FBI director into question. While his mention of "bad deeds" raises eyebrows, Trump also raises questions as to why he would choose an FBI director who gives "free passes" to those who commit them.
Comey recently said, "It makes me mildly nauseous to think we might have had some impact on the election."
Frankly, it's hard to see how he couldn't have. Judging by his tweets, Trump seems just as much in denial. He doesn't seem to have thought out that Comey gave him a free pass when he chose to publicly disclose investigations into Clinton's emails and not Trump's increasingly suspicious ties to Russia. You'd have to be a fool not to realize how that decision would, in some way, impact the vote for the next president of the United States, and Trump is anybody's fool.
Another night, another Twitter rant, and another presidential shot in the foot. You'd think we'd be used to it by now, but each time it happens, it just makes us realize how fresh the wound remains.
Read the whole story
 
· · · ·

Comey pressed for anti-Trump dossier...

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Comey pressed for anti-Trump dossier in classified Russia report, sources say

Fox News - ‎9 hours ago‎
FBI Director James Comey considered an anti-Trump dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer so important that he insisted the document be included in January's final intelligence community report on Russian meddling in the U.S. election ...

Report: Senators Pressed FBI's Comey on Russian Dossier

Newsmax - ‎2 hours ago‎
Senators pressed FBI Director James Comey this week on an unsubstantiated dossier that intelligence officials included in a classified report to former President Barack Obama days before President Donald Trump took office in January. Sources told Fox ...

Comey insisted on including unverified Trump dossier in official report on Russian hacking

Raw Story - ‎4 hours ago‎
FBI Director James Comey found evidence compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele so compelling that he included it in the intelligence community report on Russian interference in the U.S. election completed this past January. Sources told Fox ...

So, That Russian Dossier Might Have Been Funded By The Russians?

Townhall - ‎May 4, 2017‎
So, remember that Russian dossier that was compiled by a former MI6 operative, which is unsubstantiated though Democrats take it as fact? Well, it could very well be a Russian-funded effort. What we do know so far, going by CNN, is that senior Russian ...

Comey Refuses To Publicly Address FBI Ties To 'Peeing Russian Prostitutes' Dossier

Breitbart News - ‎May 4, 2017‎
During yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on FBI oversight, FBI Director James B. Comey repeatedly refused to answer questions about his agency's ties to the controversial, partially discredited 35-page dossier alleging collusion between ...
Read the whole story
 
· · ·

Comey pressed for anti-Trump dossier...

1 Share

Comey pressed for anti-Trump dossier in classified Russia report, sources say

Fox News - ‎8 hours ago‎
FBI Director James Comey considered an anti-Trump dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer so important that he insisted the document be included in January's final intelligence community report on Russian meddling in the U.S. election ...

Report: Senators Pressed FBI's Comey on Russian Dossier

Newsmax - ‎2 hours ago‎
Senators pressed FBI Director James Comey this week on an unsubstantiated dossier that intelligence officials included in a classified report to former President Barack Obama days before President Donald Trump took office in January. Sources told Fox ...

Comey insisted on including unverified Trump dossier in official report on Russian hacking

Raw Story - ‎4 hours ago‎
FBI Director James Comey found evidence compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele so compelling that he included it in the intelligence community report on Russian interference in the U.S. election completed this past January. Sources told Fox ...

So, That Russian Dossier Might Have Been Funded By The Russians?

Townhall - ‎May 4, 2017‎
So, remember that Russian dossier that was compiled by a former MI6 operative, which is unsubstantiated though Democrats take it as fact? Well, it could very well be a Russian-funded effort. What we do know so far, going by CNN, is that senior Russian ...

Comey Refuses To Publicly Address FBI Ties To 'Peeing Russian Prostitutes' Dossier

Breitbart News - ‎May 4, 2017‎
During yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on FBI oversight, FBI Director James B. Comey repeatedly refused to answer questions about his agency's ties to the controversial, partially discredited 35-page dossier alleging collusion between ...
Read the whole story
 
· · ·

Comey pressed for anti-Trump dossier in classified Russia report, sources say

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FBI Director James Comey considered an anti-Trump dossier compiled by a former British intelligence officer so important that he insisted the document be included in January's final intelligence community report on Russian meddling in the U.S. election, Fox News was told.
Sources would not speak on the record, citing the sensitivity of the matter and its current relevance to upcoming testimony on the unmasking of American citizens as part of the FBI probe into alleged contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Moscow. 
Asked for a response to the claims, the FBI and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said they could not comment on a classified document. 
It was reported last month that the unverified dossier was part of the evidence the FBI used to obtain a FISA warrant for Carter Page, a peripheral figure in the Trump campaign. In an interview with Fox News, Page denied the dossier’s central allegations that he was the Trump campaign’s point person for Moscow.
The dossier also contained salacious allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump. The classified version of the intelligence report issued at the end of the Obama administration included a summary of the document, as an attachment. Both then-President Barack Obama and President-elect Trump were presented with the findings. 
In a remarkable exchange Wednesday between Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Comey during a Senate hearing, more questions were raised about the bureau’s relationship with the former British officer who wrote the dossier, Christopher Steele, and his British company Orbis -- and its relationship to Washington, D.C.-based Fusion GPS. 
Comey said that “I know the name” and “I can’t say” when Graham pressed if Fusion GPS is part of the Russian intelligence apparatus. 
And when Graham asked if he agreed it “would be interfering in our election by the Russians” if Fusion were involved in preparing the anti-Trump dossier, Comey replied, “I don’t want to say.”
Inside the packed hearing room, the committee’s chairman Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, was visibly irritated at the lack of response by the director of the FBI. For months, Grassley has highlighted the bureau’s failure to meet deadlines and respond to his questions, calling it in a recent letter a “pattern of obstruction” on matters related to Steele. 
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee who also sits on the intelligence committee, told CNN on Wednesday that she does not “at this time” have evidence of collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the campaign. 
letter of complaint against Fusion GPS was filed with the Justice Department, alleging the company -- and founder former Wall Street Journal reporter Glenn Simpson -- violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. 
Asked for comment on the complaint’s allegation that Fusion GPS acted as an unregistered agent for Russian interests, attorney Joshua A. Levy told Fox News’ senior executive producer Pamela Brownevia email that, “Fusion GPS has complied with the law and was not required to register under FARA. Nor has Fusion GPS ever been a Russian agent. Allegations to the contrary are not true.”
Levy went on to deny Fusion GPS lobbied against the Magnitsky Act. “Not true,” Levy stated.
He said: “Fusion GPS’ only factual connection to anything in the complaint is the litigation support Fusion GPS provided to Baker Hostetler, a law firm mentioned in the complaint. Fusion GPS did no lobbying work for that law firm or its clients.”
The Magnitsky Act, a 2012 bipartisan bill passed by Congress and signed by then-President Barack Obama, was named after Russian lawyer-turned-whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison in 2009. The law imposes visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials linked to the 37-year-old lawyer’s death.
Grassley stressed his concerns that “the FBI has relied on the document to justify [Comey's] current investigation. There have been reports that the FBI agreed to pay the author of the dossier, who paid his sources, who also paid their sub sources. Where did the money come from and what motivated the people writing the checks?”
During the heated hearing, Grassley also chided the FBI for giving him “materially inconsistent” information and specifically referenced Steele, noting “The man who wrote the dossier admitted in court that it has unverified claims. Does that sound like a reliable basis for law enforcement or intelligence actions?”
Fox News also spoke to Steele’s solicitor Nicola Cain in London, who had no comment citing ongoing litigation. 
A British court document, first reported by The Guardian and signed by Steele, offers a glimpse into his company’s work for Fusion GPS. The document describes "unsolicited intelligence" and "raw intelligence" that “needed to be anlaysed and further investigated/verified.”
Fox News has filed a formal request for copies of court documents with the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court in London.
Catherine Herridge is an award-winning Chief Intelligence correspondent for FOX News Channel (FNC) based in Washington, D.C. She covers intelligence, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security. Herridge joined FNC in 1996 as a London-based correspondent.
Pamela K. Browne is Senior Executive Producer at the FOX News Channel (FNC) and is Director of Long-Form Series and Specials. Her journalism has been recognized with several awards. Browne first joined FOX in 1997 to launch the news magazine “Fox Files” and later, “War Stories.”
Cyd Upson is a Senior Producer at Fox News in the Investigative Unit and of the acclaimed military history series “War Stories.”
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Former Trump Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski Quits Lobbying Firm He Co-Founded : NPR

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Carter Page rebukes Senate Russia...

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Carter Page rebukes Senate Russia investigators in letter

4029tv - ‎2 hours ago‎
Carter Page brushed back the Senate intelligence committee in a letter Thursday, telling members that if they want details about his communications with Russians, they'll need to ask former President Barack Obama. Advertisement. The former foreign ...

US Senate Committee Seeks Information from Trump Aides in Russia Probe

Voice of America - ‎32 minutes ago‎
A U.S. Senate committee investigating allegations that Russia interfered in recent U.S. elections has ordered several of President Donald Trump's former aides to turn over information about possible ties with Russians. One of those being scrutinized ...

The Senate sent a revealing list of demands to Carter Page about his Russia ties

Yahoo News - ‎3 hours ago‎
The Senate Intelligence Committee appears to have sent Carter Page and other Trump associates a letter on April 28 asking them to provide extensive information about any contact they had with Russian officials or representatives of Russian business ...

Senate committee asks Trump associates for more details on Russian contacts

PBS NewsHour - ‎5 hours ago‎
Carter Page, one-time adviser of Donald Trump, addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow, Russia, in December. Photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters. WASHINGTON — A Senate committee investigating Moscow's interference in last year's ...

Richard Burr and Mark Warner seek records from Trump associates in Russia probe

USA TODAY - ‎3 hours ago‎
WASHINGTON — The Senate intelligence committee is asking at least four former Trump campaign associates to disclose any meetings they had with “any Russian official or representative of Russian business interests” by next Tuesday. The committee is in ...

Congress, law enforcement officials concerned Russia is trying to discredit FBI probe

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Last Updated May 5, 2017 4:53 PM EDT
By Jeff Pegues, Julia Kimani Burnam and Katie Ross Dominick
CBS News has learned that members of Congress and U.S. law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned that Russia is already trying or will try to discredit the FBI counterintelligence investigation. The probe into whether Trump campaign representatives coordinated with the Russians during the 2016 campaign has been underway for about ten months. Former U.S. intelligence officials and current congressional sources say Russians will try to exploit vulnerabilities and spread misinformation as the investigation unfolds and as the FBI gets closer to a conclusion. 
Multiple sources say Russian operatives are skilled at planting false information and watching it spread. Just this week, FBI Director James Comey testified on Capitol Hill that he believed the Russians were still meddling in U.S. politics and that he expected more Russian interference in upcoming 2018 elections and beyond.
The Senate Intelligence Committee continues its investigation into Russian meddling in the election and recently sent a letter to Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, requesting that he provide them with information including the following: 
  • A list of all his meetings with Russian officials or businessmen from June 6 up until Inauguration Day; and the meetings he knows of between any Trump campaign affiliates who may have met with Russians;
  • Emails, text messages, written correspondence and phone records during that time frame involving Russian officials or businessmen and Page or other Trump campaign affiliates; 
  • All information regarding his financial and real estate holdings related to Russia in the same time period.
In response, Page sent a letter to the top members on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sens. Richard Burr and Mark Warner deriding their "comically fake inquiry," which he also referred to in the letter as "pathetic Russia storyline fabrications" and a "fanciful witch hunt."
While he said he was committed to helping the committee in the investigation, Page told the senators that any "records I may have saved as a private citizen with limited technology capabilities" would be "miniscule," compared the information "collected under the direction of the Obama administration during last year's completely unjustified FISA warrant." He advised the committee that their requests "will have been largely completed"  by the NSA's surveillance efforts.
Page pointed out that he had chosen the National Day of Prayer to respond to their requests because prayer in his church "has remained a core source of support throughout this ongoing comically fake inquiry and the complete lies that precipitated it."
In the letter, he also mocked Warner's reading of Russian fiction -- Nabokov and Tolstoy -- which was noted in a New York Times story last month. "A few months ago, Senator Warner was reportedly searching for new sources of insights about Russia," Page wrote. 
Burr and Warner declined to take up Page's flippant suggestion to gather his information from NSA surveillance data, insisting again in a joint statement that Page himself "must supply the requested documents to the committee." 
It's not known whether the Senate Intelligence Committee has also sent similar letters to other Trump campaign associates, like former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, former adviser Roger Stone, and former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort. A representative for Paul Manafort would neither confirm nor deny whether he had also received a letter. 
CBS News' Andres Triay contributed to this report. 
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Carter Page rebukes Senate Russia...

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Carter Page rebukes Senate Russia investigators in letter

4029tv - ‎2 hours ago‎
Carter Page brushed back the Senate intelligence committee in a letter Thursday, telling members that if they want details about his communications with Russians, they'll need to ask former President Barack Obama. Advertisement. The former foreign ...

US Senate Committee Seeks Information from Trump Aides in Russia Probe

Voice of America - ‎26 minutes ago‎
A U.S. Senate committee investigating allegations that Russia interfered in recent U.S. elections has ordered several of President Donald Trump's former aides to turn over information about possible ties with Russians. One of those being scrutinized ...

The Senate sent a revealing list of demands to Carter Page about his Russia ties

Yahoo News - ‎3 hours ago‎
The Senate Intelligence Committee appears to have sent Carter Page and other Trump associates a letter on April 28 asking them to provide extensive information about any contact they had with Russian officials or representatives of Russian business ...

Senate committee asks Trump associates for more details on Russian contacts

PBS NewsHour - ‎5 hours ago‎
Carter Page, one-time adviser of Donald Trump, addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow, Russia, in December. Photo by Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters. WASHINGTON — A Senate committee investigating Moscow's interference in last year's ...

Richard Burr and Mark Warner seek records from Trump associates in Russia probe

USA TODAY - ‎3 hours ago‎
WASHINGTON — The Senate intelligence committee is asking at least four former Trump campaign associates to disclose any meetings they had with “any Russian official or representative of Russian business interests” by next Tuesday. The committee is in ...
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Carter Page rebukes Senate Russia investigators in letter

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(CNN) —
Carter Page brushed back the Senate intelligence committee in a letter Thursday, telling members that if they want details about his communications with Russians, they'll need to ask former President Barack Obama.
The former foreign policy adviser for Donald Trump's campaign, who is being scrutinized by both congressional and FBI investigators, berated the Senate intelligence committee's requests in an April 28 letter provided to CNN for details about his communications and schedule a time to be interviewed by Senate investigators.
The Senate panel has also asked for records of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump adviser Roger Stone as part of its probe. And the panel, sources said, is prepared to subpoena them for the records if necessary.
Instead, Page, who has been strangely outspoken, wrote in his response that he was confident evidence would prove he was a target of surveillance by Obama -- evidence, he said, that would likely induce "severe vomiting" when it comes out.
"I suspect the physical reaction of the Clinton/Obama regime perpetrators will be more along the lines of severe vomiting when all the facts are eventually exposed regarding the steps taken by the U.S. Government to influence the 2016 election," Page wrote.
Federal investigators believe Page was being cultivated as a Russian asset by a Russian spy -- whether Page knew it or not -- a charge Page has vehemently denied.
The Senate letter to Page is the latest sign that its Russia investigation is plowing ahead, now moving to the phase of calling in high-profile witnesses.
In his three-page reply, Page wrote that he believed Senate investigators would have better access to his communications than he would because of the alleged surveillance by the Obama administration.
"But please note that any records I may have saved as a private citizen with limited technology capabilities will be miniscule in comparison to the full database of information which has already been collected under the direction of the Obama Administration during last year's completely unjustified FISA warrant that targeted me for exercising my First Amendment rights, both in 2016 as well as in years prior," Page wrote.
FBI Director James Comey said again this week that Trump was definitely not a target of surveillance by Obama. And House investigators rebutted House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes' claim that Trump aides were victims of incidental collection.
The White House has distanced itself from Page since it became clear he was a key target for investigators.
But Page clearly did not play a central role in Trump's campaign, unlike other targets including former campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
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Senate Committee Asks Carter Page to Reveal Russian Contacts

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The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked former Trump adviser Carter Page to provide a list of his contacts with Russian officials and turn over any emails or other communications with Russians, according to a letter Page provided to NBC News.
The New York Times is reporting that similar letters were sent to former Trump advisers Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort. Committee officials declined to confirm or deny that report. Manafort's spokesman declined to comment; representatives for Stone and Flynn did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Image: FILE PHOTO: One-time advisor of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump Page addresses the audience during a presentation in Moscow
The letter to Page was signed by Republican Richard Burr and Democrat Mark Warner, the chairman and ranking Democrat on the committee. It signaled that the committee was stepping up its inquiry into Russian election interference, after spending weeks reviewing intelligence documents. Such requests are commonly made before a formal subpoena for records is issued.
At issue is whether any Trump associate colluded with the Russian intelligence operation to hack, leak and plant fake news stories to hurt Hillary Clinton and benefit Donald Trump.
In a statement, Burr and Warner called for Page to fully cooperate and turn over the material by the deadlines they set for him.
"Should Mr. Page choose to not provide the material requested by those dates, the Committee will consider its next steps at that time," the senators said.
"Mr. Page has indicated in correspondence to the Committee that he looks forward to working with us on this matter, and that our cooperation will help resolve what he claims are false allegations. For that to happen, Mr. Page must supply the requested documents to the Committee. As our letter indicated, the requested documents must be provided in advance of any interviews the Committee may conduct."
Page, Stone, Manafort and Flynn have each drawn FBI attention, though it's not clear whether it all relates to the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the Russian operation. Manafort's financial transactions with his Ukrainian political clients have come under scrutiny, as have Flynn's unregistered lobbying for Turkish government interests during the election campaign.
Now we know why the FBI pursued fmr. Trump aide Carter Page 7:22
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Stone has acknowledged conversations with Guccifer 2.0, an online persona that American officials say was a front for Russian intelligence. Page, identified in a previous case as a recruiting target for Russian spies, made a trip to Moscow while he was advising the Trump campaign on foreign policy, though his role in the campaign does not appear to have been significant.
The Senate committee is on track to interview as many as two dozen witnesses, U.S. officials tell NBC News. Separately, former acting attorney general Sally Yates is scheduled to testify publicly May 8 before a Senate judiciary subcommittee about her disclosure to the White House that Flynn had misled officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador.
The House Intelligence Committee, which is conducting a separate but parallel investigation, heard testimony behind closed doors Thursday from FBI director James Comey. Among the House lines of inquiry, one official familiar with the investigation told NBC News, is to what extent Russian money bailed out Trump's real estate empire after the 2008 real estate crash.
The letter to Page asked him to list any Russian official or business executive he met with between June 16, 2015 and Jan. 20, 2017. It also asked him to provide information about Russia-related real estate transactions during that period. And it seeks all his email or other communications during that period with Russians, or with the Trump campaign about Russia or Russians.
Page responded in a letter of his own that he was committed to cooperating with the Senate investigation, but "please note that any records I may have saved as a private citizen with limited technology capabilities will be minuscule in comparison to the full database of information which has already been collected under the direction of the Obama Administration during last year's completely unjustified FISA warrant that targeted me for exercising my First Amendment rights, both in 2016 as well as in years prior."
He was referring to reports that the FBI targeted him with a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant after suspecting him of acting as an agent of Russia. He denies that allegation.
"I eagerly await your Committee's call to help finally set the record straight following the false evidence, illegal activities as well as other lies distributed by Mrs. Hillary Clinton's campaign and their associates in coordination with the Obama Administration, which defamed me and other supporters of the Trump campaign," Page said in a separate letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee, dated March 5.
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Senate Asks Former Trump Adviser for Documents on his Contacts With Russia

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A Senate committee investigating Moscow's interference in last year's election has asked several of President Donald Trump's associates to turn over information about possible contacts with Russian officials or businessmen. Former Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page responded on Friday, calling the congressional probe a "comically fake inquiry" but pledging to cooperate.
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, Republican strategist Roger Stone and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort are also among those the Senate intelligence committee has asked for information and documents related to its investigation.

Pentagon Probes Flynn Payments

[NATL] Pentagon Probes Flynn Payments
Michael Flynn, President Trump's former National Security Advisor, is being investigated by the Defense Department to determine whether he failed to get permission to receive payments from a foreign government.
(Published Thursday, April 27, 2017)
Both the Senate and House intelligence committees along with U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials are investigating Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. FBI Director James Comey has said that the FBI probe is exploring the nature of any links between individuals associated with Trump's campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between Russia's efforts and the Trump campaign.
The Senate committee would not disclose which individuals it is targeting, but in an email to The Associated Press, Stone said he intended to comply with the committee's requests.
"I am eager, indeed anxious, to testify in full public session, have requested no immunity and am ready to go," Stone wrote. He also said that he "rejects" the claim that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Guccifer 2.0, the unnamed hacker that has taken credit for breaking into the Democratic National Committee servers, are Russian assets. He said the U.S. government has offered no proof to support that assessment.
Stone communicated through Twitter direct messages with Guccifer 2.0. Stone has said that he was unaware at the time that U.S. officials believed the hacker had ties to Russia.

Flynn Was Warned About Accepting Foreign Payments in 2014

[NATL] Flynn Was Warned About Accepting Foreign Payments in 2014
President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn was warned by the military in 2014 not to accept foreign payments without prior approval, according to documents released on Thursday by Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the ranking member of the House oversight committee. Separate letters released Thursday show no evidence that Fl
... ynn ever sought that approval.
Read more
(Published Thursday, April 27, 2017)
The letters the committee sent to Stone and Page, which were shared with the AP on Friday, were virtually identical. The committee asked them to provide emails, text messages, letters, phone records or any other relevant information they have about meetings or contacts that they or any other individual affiliated with the Trump campaign had with Russian officials or representatives of Russian business interests.
The requests seek information about any contacts that occurred between the day Trump announced his candidacy, June 16, 2015, and his inauguration on Jan. 20. It also asks for information about Stone and Page's financial and real estate holdings related to Russia, including financial securities or holdings they might have sold or divested during that period.
In a written response to the committee's request, Page argued that the panel was conducting a "comically fake inquiry." At the same time, Page pledged to cooperate with the committee to "help resolve all of the false allegations which led to this fanciful witch hunt in the first place."
The committee also asks that Page and Stone appear for closed interviews with intelligence committee staff. Lawmakers set a May 9 and May 19 deadline for various materials to be provided to the committee.

Cheating on the Rise as Competitive Gaming Goes Mainstream

[NATL] Cheating on the Rise as Competitive Gaming Goes Mainstream
Cheating, or hacking, is an issue as competitive video gaming breaks into mainstream entertainment. Prizes ranging from sponsorships to social media fame to cash rewards are prompting some to seek an edge over the competition.
(Published Friday, May 5, 2017)
Page told the committee that the material he has will be "minuscule in comparison to the full database of information" the Obama administration collected during "last year's completely unjustified" secret warrant. Page said law enforcement officials under the Obama administration obtained a sealed order from a secretive intelligence court last summer to monitor his communications to investigate whether he was acting as a Russian agent.
Page said the warrant put him under "unscrupulous surveillance for many months" and targeted him for exercising his First Amendment rights both in 2016 and earlier.
Page met with a Russian intelligence operative in 2013 and provided him documents about the energy industry, according to court documents from a 2015 prosecution alleging a Cold War-style spy ring in New York. Page, referred to in the filing as "Male-1," is not accused of wrongdoing and said in a statement that he shared "basic immaterial information and publicly available research documents."
Little is known about Page's role in Trump's campaign.
In March, Trump personally announced that Page was part of a newly minted foreign policy advisory team. But as questions began swirling about Page's ties to Russia, the campaign started moving away from the investment banker. Trump has since said he has no relationship with him.
"I originally joined the Trump movement and eventually volunteered for a small, unpaid, informal role in the campaign since I knew our candidate would finally help lead this country and the world toward peace through strength," Page said in his letter to the committee.
Flynn, Trump's ousted national security adviser, also received a letter from the committee asking him to turn over information. A person with direct knowledge of the letter's contents confirmed Flynn received it. The person demanded anonymity to discuss the information because of its sensitive nature.
Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort, declined to confirm whether Manafort had received a letter from the Senate committee, but a person with knowledge of the letter said he had. The person was not authorized to talk about the letter and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Students Crawl Through Air Duct to Steal Finals Exam: Cops

[NY-NATL] Students Crawl Through Air Duct, Break Into Prof's Office to Steal Finals Exam: Police
Two University of Kentucky students are facing felony charges after allegedly crawling through an air duct to enter a professor's office and steal a copy of their final exam. WLEX's Conroy Delouche reports.
(Published Friday, May 5, 2017)
Lawmakers have said previously that Manafort had voluntarily offered to be interviewed by the House and Senate intelligence committees as part of their investigations.
In March, Manafort confirmed in a statement that his attorney had reached out to the House committee with an "offer to provide information voluntarily regarding recent allegations about Russian interference in the election."
Associated Press writers Julie Pace, Eileen Sullivan and Chad Day contributed to this report.

Super Kids: Blind Piano Prodigy Plays Music With Heart

[NATL-DC] Super Kids: Blind Piano Prodigy Plays Music With Heart
Jose Andre Montano, a 12-year-old jazz piano prodigy from D.C., has already performed at the Kennedy Center and the World Bank. He also happens to be blind.
(Published Friday, May 5, 2017)
Published at 1:47 PM EDT on May 5, 2017 | Updated 4 hours ago
Copyright Associated Press
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Dem Senator: You Know, The Comey Letter Was Just As Bad As The FBI's Wiretapping Of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) went on CNN to do what Democrats have been doing for awhile now: complain about FBI Director James Comey. Now, Clinton’s former running mate stopped short of saying that it was the factor that cost them the 2016 election, but touched upon the frustration about the FBI seemingly having two sets of protocols regarding the Clinton probe into her email usage and the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence.
Kaine declared that Comey’s decision to inform Congress that they had found additional emails, which turned out to be on the laptop of Anthony Weiner that were forwarded to him by his wife and top Clinton aide Huma Abedin would be one of the low points in the history of the FBI. He said it “will go down as probably the lowest moment in the history of the FBI, probably next to the decision of J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap Martin Luther King.”
Now, Democrats are irked by that move since it occurred 11 days prior to Election Day. Hillary Clinton is confident that she would have won if it weren’t for that letter, despite the polls being way off throughout the cycle, with most giving Clinton 70+ (even 90+) percent chances of winning. So, that narrative is fraught with uncertainty. Moreover, Clinton lost because she was an abysmal campaigner, who totally ignored the areas that eventually went for Trump. The Russians and James Comey didn’t tell her to avoid campaigning in the Rust Belt.
Second, as some have noted before, Comey was between a rock and a hard place. He could sit on the Weiner development until after the election, but he would be accused of politicizing the investigation for withholding information about a presidential candidate. If he revealed that they would review the new emails 11 days prior, he would face the same accusation. He felt the former would be the more catastrophic choice for the institution.
Third, as we know, J. Edgar Hoover deployed grossly unconstitutional surveillance operations while serving as the director of the FBI. The Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) was one of the most egregious operations run by the FBI. The Comey letter to Congress is not the same thing. It was not illegal. It was not surreptitious. It did not violate constitutional rights. In fact, the legal questions didn’t surround Comey. It was Clinton—who had an unauthorized and unsecure email server from which she conducted all official State Department business. Classified information came through that server, which brought the allegations of mishandling. This was a totally avoidable scenario. And the fault rests totally with Clinton for losing the election no matter how much she whines about Russia, the FBI, or misogyny.
She just sucked.
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The Many Scandals of Donald Trump

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Senators want to see the communications of several former aides to Donald Trump with Russians.
The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is one of several bodies investigating Russian interference in the election, sent letters to Carter Page, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone, and Michael Flynn, among others, requesting their emails and records of other communications with Russians in government and the private sector, The New York Times reports. The committee could, and reportedly will, issue subpoenas if the recipients do not comply.
Page, who was briefly a foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign, has extensive business contacts in Russia. In 2013, Page passed documents to a Russian spy, and the U.S. government believed that Russia was attempting to recruit him as a spy, BuzzFeed previously reported. In 2016, the FBI sought and obtained a secret warrant to surveil Page, The Washington Post reported.
Although the Trump White House has tried to claim that Manafort “played a very limited role for a very limited amount of time,” he was the Trump campaign’s chairman for a tumultuous span over the summer of 2016. Previously, he worked for a Kremlin client who was president of Ukraine; allegedly received millions in off-the-books payment from that leader’s party; and signed a $10 million per annum contract to boost Vladimir Putin’s reputation globally. Manafort, who has worked for a series of unsavory leaders, also received millions in mysterious payments. In April, he belatedly filed as a foreign lobbyist for past work. He says he did nothing wrong.
Stone is a colorful former aide to Richard Nixon who has been an on-and-off confidant of Trump’s for years. Though not formally associated with the Trump campaign, he reportedly speaks with the president frequently. He is known to have communicated via Twitter message with a hacker known as Guccifer 2.0, whom U.S. intelligence agencies believe was really a Russian state front.
Stone, Manafort, and Page are all subjects of an FBI investigation into Russian meddling. Flynn was forced to resign as national security adviser in February, after it became clear he had lied to Vice President Pence about his pre-inauguration conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. He also recently registered as a foreign agent, acknowledging lobbying work for the Turkish government in 2016. In addition, the chair and ranking member of the House Oversight Committee last week accused Flynn of breaking the law by failing to seek permission for, or disclose, payment from the Russian and Turkish governments. Flynn has sought immunity in exchange for testifying about Russian ties.
The documents the Senate committee seeks could help to resolve the many questions about the Trump campaign’s ties with Russia. There is now consensus that Russia interfered in the election, but the president has denied any collusion in those efforts. However, multiple Trump aides have ties to Russia, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to recuse himself from investigations after admitting he failed to disclose to Congress a meeting he had with the Russian ambassador in July.
Donald Trump entered the White House as one of the most scandal-tarred presidents in American history—what his imbroglios may have lacked in depth, they made up in variety, encompassing legal, ethical, and sexual controversies. (In a twist, one of Trump’s few competitors for the crown was his rival, Hillary Clinton.) They ranged from race discrimination to mafia connections, from petty hypocrisies to multimillion-dollar alleged frauds.

Now that Trump is president, some of those controversies have continued to shadow him. But the presidency has also occasioned a whole new set of disputes. Looming largest is the question of whether his campaign colluded with Russian agents to interfere in the election, a question being investigated by the FBI as well as panels in both houses of Congress. They also include ethical and legal questions surrounding members of his cabinet, his allegation that Barack Obama spied on him before the election, and various conflicts of interest.
In the spirit of our logs of Clinton and Trump scandals during the presidential campaign, this article will track those controversies, sorting out the legal, ethical, and moral questions and separating the facts from the fury. The list will be updated regularly as there are new developments.
Who: Flynn, a retired three-star general and Trump’s first national security adviser
The dirt: Flynn cut a controversial figure on the campaign trail as an outspoken Trump surrogate. On November 17, shortly after Trump was elected, Flynn was named his national security adviser. Problems soon emerged. His son had to be fired for spreading bizarre, baseless conspiracy theories. There were also reports that Flynn had spoken with Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak prior to Trump’s inauguration about sanctions on Moscow, which Flynn denied. On April 25, the leaders of the House Oversight Committee said they believed Flynn had failed to seek permission (as he had been warned to do) to receive money from the Russian and Turkish governments in 2015 and 2016, and omitted some of them from required disclosures.
The upshot: Flynn was fired on February 13, after it became clear he had lied to Vice President Pence about his conversations with Kislyak. However, Trump reportedly knew about those lies as early as January 26, raising questions about why Flynn’s firing took so long. More questions have emerged since, especially with Flynn’s disclosure that he lobbied for the Turkish government without declaring it prior to his White House appointment. If Flynn failed to seek permission for payments from Russia and Turkey, and to disclose it, he would have committed a crime. More details about Flynn are expected: Through a lawyer, Flynn—who in 2016 said that someone who asks for immunity has probably committed a crime—has reportedly reached out to various investigative bodies to offer immunity in exchange for testimony. So far, no one is known to have granted it.
Read more: The Atlantic(2)(3)

Russian Interference in the 2016 Election

Who: Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chair; Michael Flynn, former national security adviser; Carter Page, former Trump adviser; unknown others
The dirt: The fact of Russian interference in the election to hurt Hillary Clinton and aid Trump is the subject of consensus in the U.S. government, but whether there were connections between the Trump campaign and those efforts remains unknown. The most explosive allegations were laid out in the infamous unconfirmed dossier a former British intelligence officer prepared. FBI Director James Comey said on March 20 that his agency is “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” The Senate and House intelligence committees are also both investigating. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to recuse himself from any investigations after admitting he had not disclosed to Congress meetings with the Russian ambassador. Democrats have argued that Sessions lied under oath by doing so. On April 11, The Washington Post revealed that the FBI sought and received a warrant to Carter Page on suspicion of being a foreign agents. Paul Manafort is also the subject of several inquiries, and reports have pointed to mysterious millions flowing his way; he may register retroactively as a foreign agent under federal law. The Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking communications with Russia from several former Trump aides.
The upshot: Who knows? If Trump aides conspired with a foreign power to influence the election, it would be the biggest political scandal since Watergate. If Trump himself were involved or compromised, as the darkest liberal observers suggest, it would be a scandal without precedent in American history. Adam Schiff, the Democratic ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, says he has seen “more than circumstantial” evidence of collusion, while Representative JoaquĆ­n Castro says he thinks people will go to jail. At the moment, however, there’s minimal public evidence to go on, so the whole thing might very well turn out to be mere innuendo.

The Obama “Wiretap”

Who: Donald Trump; former President Barack Obama; Fox News analyst Andrew Napolitano; conservative pundit Mark Levin; Breitbart author Joel Pollak
The dirt: On March 4, Trump tweeted that Obama “had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory,” calling it “McCarthyism” and “Nixon/Watergate.” There is no evidence to support Trump’s claim, and FBI Director James Comey said under oath that it was not true. It appears that Trump made his claim based on speculation from Andrew Napolitano on Fox News, Mark Levin’s radio show, and a Breitbart piece by Pollak based on the Levin segment. Despite demanding a congressional investigation, the White House has still not produced any evidence. Trump has tried to change the nature of his claim, first saying he merely meant “surveillance” broadly. Later, after the White House claimed (again, with no clear evidence) that Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice had improperly asked that the names of Trump aides be listed in intelligence reports, Trump claimed, falsely, that he’d been referring to this “unmasking.”
The upshot: The debate over Trump’s apparently entirely fictitious claim has now spread out over weeks, sucking in congressional investigations and the FBI. Trump’s refusal to back off his claim has produced a range of peculiar outcomes. Devin Nunes, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has been forced to recuse himself from an investigation. The Trump administration set off a brief feud with GCHQ, the British intelligence agency, for claiming the U.K. did the bugging for the Obama administration. The president also made a bizarre, awkward joke about prior surveillance of Angela Merkel during a press conference with the German chancellor. If President Obama did engage in politically motivated spying, it would be Nixonian, but at the moment there’s simply no evidence for that at all, while Trump’s phantom allegations suck up oxygen.
Read more: The Atlantic(2)(3)

Devin Nunes and Allegations of Improper “Unmasking”

Who: Devin Nunes, chair of the House Intelligence Committee and a Trump transition team member; Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis, White House staffers; Susan Rice, Obama national security adviser
The dirt: On March 22, Nunes, a California Republican, announced he had received mysterious report suggesting vague, inappropriate conduct by Obama administration officials—that Trump transition-team members had been “incidentally collected,” or swept up in surveillance of intelligence targets. When Americans who are not the targets of surveillance are collected this way, their names are redacted, but can be revealed, or “unmasked,” to some top officials at their request. Though Nunes said the surveillance was lawful, he alleged that the Trump officials’ names had been improperly unmasked. Nunes would not say how he obtained the information, did not share it with members of his committee, and rushed to brief the president. A later report from Bloomberg View had Trump officials claiming Susan Rice had requested questionable unmasking.
The upshot: Nunes’s refusal to share his information resulted in acrimony with his Democratic counterpart. Meanwhile, the congressman’s account developed a series of inconsistencies and holes, both in substance and in process. Although he insisted he had not received his information from the Trump administration, it became clear that his source was within the White House. Nunes was eventually forced to recuse himself from the House investigation into Russian interference in the election. Rice has denied wrongdoing, and no further evidence that she improperly unmasked anyone has emerged—in fact, some reports suggest just the opposite.
Read more: The Atlantic(2)(3)Eli LakeCNN

Conflicts of Interest and Ethics Violations

Who: Donald Trump; Ivanka Trump; Donald Trump Jr.; Eric Trump; Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president
The dirt: Donald Trump has still not offered an adequate plan for addressing conflicts of interest between his business. The president said that he would step away from the Trump Organization, as would his daughter Ivanka, while his sons Donald and Eric ran the business. His faux-blind trust was criticized by ethics observers across the political spectrum, and Eric has suggested in interviews that the division is even more porous than it initially appeared. Ethicists say Trump is in violation of the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause, because foreign leaders can funnel money to the president by staying in his hotels. Separately, Trump counselor Kellyanne Conway broke ethics rules by encouraging people to purchase Ivanka Trump merchandise after Nordstrom announced it would drop her line of clothing. (Despite President Trump’s promise that Ivanka was not joining the White House, she has since taken a job in the West Wing.) Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner also appears to have failed to disclose at least $1 billion in loans and stakes in multiple companies.
The upshot: The General Services Administration ruled that Trump was not violating the lease on a hotel in D.C., despite a clause saying no government official can be party to the contract. At least one pending lawsuit seeks to have Trump ruled in violation of the Emoluments Cause. The Office of Government Ethics ruled that Conway had broken rules on endorsements and recommended that she be fired, but the White House rejected the recommendation, and OGE has no authority to levy its own punishment. After public outcry, the State Department deleted a blog post promoting Mar-A-Lago, Trump’s Florida estate.

The Revolving Door

Who: Marcus Peacock, former budget adviser; Scott Gottlieb, nominee for FDA commissioner; Michael Catanzaro, energy adviser; Chad Wolf, TSA official; Geoff Burr, Labor Department official
The dirt: During the campaign, Trump promised to “drain the swamp,” proposing a range of rules to limit the revolving door between government and business. Trump’s actions since taking office have been a mixed bag, strengthening some rules and weakening others. (This is not unprecedented—Barack Obama also ended up loosening his own rules.) There are already several worrying case of people moving between the government and major lobbies in both directions.
  • Marcus Peacock worked briefly in the Office of Management and Budget, but has left for the Business Roundtable, a major lobby. Peacock would have been banned from lobbying for five years, but he was granted a waiver from Trump’s rules.
  • Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration, has received millions of dollars from drug companies covered by the FDA over the years. Gottlieb plans to recuse himself from decisions involving multiple drugmakers, including giants Bristol-Myers Squibb and GlaxoSmithKline.
  • Chad Wolf is the chief of staff for the Transportation Safety Administration, but until he took that job was a lobbyist for a company seeking to have its baggage-scanning device approved by TSA, a deal that could be worth $500 million. When The New York Times contacted Wolf (he declined an interview request), his Twitter account still identified him as a lobbyist.
  • Michael Catanzaro is Trump’s top energy adviser, in which capacity he is working to roll back Obama-era emissions rules that he previously lobbied against on behalf of energy companies.
  • Geoff Burr has been hired as a special assistant at the Labor Department. He was previously a lobbyist for a construction-industry trade group, lobbying the department where he now works for things like looser safety regulations and wage rules.
The upshot: Because the Office of Government Ethics has no independent authority to punish violations, most of the onus is on the White House to enforce its own rules. In several of these cases, it appears that Trump administration officials may be in violation of the president’s rules or other existing rules, but it’s very difficult to know for sure. The administration could grant waivers to officials to circumvent rules, but unlike the Obama administration, the Trump administration is not making those waivers public. Of course, the presence of waivers raises its own questions about the efficacy and spirit of the White House’s ethics rules.

Tom Price’s Dubious Stock Trading

Who: Tom Price, secretary of health and human services
The dirt: Price, a doctor by profession, was previously a U.S. representative from Georgia. In 2012, after a series of revelations about members of Congress profiting by trading stocks with inside information about regulation and legislation, the STOCK Act barred trading on non-public information. Price traded more than $300,000 worth of stock in health companies affected by bills he sponsored or argued for. The largest was an investment of $50,000 to $100,000 in an Australian company called Innate Immunotherapeutics, whose largest shareholder is Representative Chris Collins of New York, a close Trump ally. The stock later doubled in price. During confirmation hearings, Price claimed to have received no special information, but The Wall Street Journal found that Price had actually received a privileged offer to buy. ProPublica also reported that Price also bought $90,000 in drug companies the same day he intervened to kill a rule that would have cut into their profits.
The upshot: The allegations against Price, if proven, could be very serious, as he could have violated federal law. Democrats have asked that the Securities and Exchange Commission investigate Price. When Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for Manhattan was unexpectedly fired in March, he had been conducting an investigation into Price’s trades, ProPublica reported. Price denies wrongdoing and says trades were made by his broker without his knowledge.

Inciting Violence

Who: Donald Trump
The dirt: The president faces a lawsuit from three people who allege they were roughed up at a campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky, in March 2016. They blame Trump for inciting violence by saying, “Get ’em out of here.” He has also been sued in Alabama in a similar case.
The upshot: Trump has offered two defenses in Kentucky. First, he says he was not instructing the crowd, though another defendant, accused of conducting an assault, says he was acting because of the candidate’s statement. (A white nationalist leader has actually sued Trump, saying he assaulted a woman at the candidate’s behest.) Second, Trump says that as president he is immune to civil suits. Trump has also claimed that he has presidential immunity from a sexual-harassment case filed by a former Apprentice contestant.
Read more: Politico(2)The Atlantic
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1. US Security from mikenova (70 sites): fbi - Google News: FBI, NSA directors testify in closed House committee session - The Seattle Times

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The Seattle Times

FBI, NSA directors testify in closed House committee session
The Seattle Times
FBI Director James Comey walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 4, 2017. Comey and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers are meeting behind closed doors with members of a House committee investigating Russian meddling in the ...
Comey reveals few details about state of Russia inquiryCNN
Can President Donald Trump Fire FBI Director James Comey?Newsweek
FBI director says he feels 'mildly nauseous' about possibility he affected election, but has no regretsWashington Post
Salon -TechCrunch -BGR
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trump criminal investigation - Google News: The Daily 202: French presidential election becomes Trump vs. Obama proxy war - Washington Post

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Washington Post

The Daily 202: French presidential election becomes Trump vs. Obama proxy war
Washington Post
The Justice Department has launched a criminal investigation into Uber's use of a secret software, “Greyball,” to evade authorities in areas where its app was banned or restricted. The investigation comes as the latest blow to the embattled company ...

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roger stone - Google News: Get Me Roger Stone (Netflix) - National Review

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National Review

Get Me Roger Stone (Netflix)
National Review
Or so Stone tells the story in Get Me Roger Stone, a documentary directed by Daniel DiMauro, Dylan Bank, and Morgan Pehme that debuts on Netflix May 12. Stone joyously plays along with the film's effort to portray him as the political Prince of ...

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1. Digests from mikenova (32 sites): U.S. National Security and Military News Review: Trump’s 2nd Nominee for Army Secretary Withdraws, Citing False Attacks 

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In a statement, Mr. Green said his nomination had become a distraction because of “false and misleading attacks against me.”

 U.S. National Security and Military News Review

 1. Digests from mikenova (32 sites)

United States Defense and Military Forces: Trump’s 2nd Nominee for Army Secretary Withdraws

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In a statement, Mark E. Green said his nomination had become a distraction because of “false and misleading attacks against me.”

 United States Defense and Military Forces

Senate Committee Asks Carter Page to...

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Senate Committee Asks Carter Page to Reveal Russian Contacts

<a href="http://NBCNews.com" rel="nofollow">NBCNews.com</a> - ‎1 hour ago‎
The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked former Trump adviser Carter Page to provide a list of his contacts with Russian officials and turn over any emails or other communications with Russians, according to a letter Page provided to NBC News.

Senate asks Trump associates for details on Russian contacts

CNBC - ‎1 hour ago‎
Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump jokes with retired Gen. Michael Flynn as they speak at a rally at Grand Junction Regional Airport on October 18, 2016 in Grand Junction Colorado. A Senate committee investigating Moscow's interference in last ...

The Scandals of Donald Trump: Presidential Edition

The Atlantic - ‎1 hour ago‎
Subscribe to The Atlantic's Politics & Policy Daily, a roundup of ideas and events in American politics. Senators want to see the communications of several former aides to Donald Trump with Russians. The Senate Intelligence Committee, which is one of ...

Congress, law enforcement officials concerned Russia is trying to discredit FBI probe

CBS News - ‎2 hours ago‎
By Jeff Pegues, Julia Kimani Burnam and Katie Ross Dominick. CBS News has learned that members of Congress and U.S. law enforcement officials are increasingly concerned that Russia is already trying or will try to discredit the FBI counterintelligence ...

After promising to cooperate, ex-Trump adviser Carter Page turns inquiry back on Senate panel

Washington Post - ‎4 hours ago‎
Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser whose interactions with Russia are under FBI investigation, has repeatedly said he wants to cooperate with Congress's Russia probes to clear his name. But in a letter this week to the Senate Select Committee ...
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Senate Asks Trump Associates for Records of Communication With Russians

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Senate hearing gives a glimpse of political warfare within the FBI

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By Patrick Martin
5 May 2017
A four-hour Senate committee hearing Tuesday gave a glimpse of the political warfare raging within the US military-intelligence apparatus, despite its nominally “nonpolitical” pretensions. Rival factions within the FBI fought to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election through illegal leaks to the media and carefully orchestrated political provocations.
The occasion was the annual review of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is charged with exercising oversight of the powerful police agency. FBI Director James Comey was the sole witness, and he gave new details about the internal strife within the FBI and the Justice Department, to which it belongs.
Comey was under fire throughout the hearing from senators of both capitalist parties.
Republicans attacked him for allegedly going easy on Hillary Clinton in the course of the FBI’s investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, and for government leaks to the media about alleged connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Democrats attacked Comey for the announcement on October 28, 2016, only 11 days before the election, that the email investigation was being revived, while keeping silent about the allegations of Trump-Russia connections until well after the vote, thereby seemingly putting the weight of the FBI on the scales in support of Trump.
Clinton and many congressional Democrats have claimed that the FBI’s unprecedented intervention tipped the balance in a close election and gave Republican Donald Trump a critical last-minute boost. The FBI action broke a longstanding Justice Department rule that no action against any candidate for public office should be announced less than 90 days before an election.
In response to the questioning from both sides, Comey gave a picture of the FBI buffeted by political tensions throughout the presidential election year. He flatly denied suggestions by Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, that top FBI officials had been anonymous sources to the media about investigations into either Clinton or Trump.
Comey refused to discuss except in a secret session, with the press and public excluded, recent reports of an email hacked from Democratic Party operatives which said that they had assurances that Attorney General Loretta Lynch would protect Clinton by making sure the FBI investigation “didn’t go too far.”
But he acknowledged that there was mounting dissatisfaction within the FBI in the spring of 2016 over the investigation of the Clinton email affair as it became clear that there was no basis for a criminal prosecution of Clinton or her top aides.
Comey said, in response to questioning by Republican Thom Tills of North Carolina, that he himself had become increasingly concerned that the leadership of the Department of Justice “could not credibly complete the investigation and decline prosecution without grievous damage to the American people’s confidence in the justice system.”
Referring to Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s meeting with former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Arizona in late June 2016, he continued, “her meeting with President Clinton on that airplane was the capper for me. And I then said, ‘You know what, the department cannot by itself credibly end this.’”
Comey revealed that he telephoned Lynch the next morning to tell her he would announce the conclusions of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton at a press conference without giving Lynch—his nominal boss—advance notice of what those conclusions were.
Press reports have suggested that there was widespread opposition to Clinton among rank-and-file agents, who are generally aligned with the Republican Party, although many mid-level officials, appointed or promoted under Obama, backed the Democrats. Although Comey avoided discussing the issue, agents in the New York office of the FBI were particularly incensed by the decision not to bring charges, and were leaking information to the press and to Republican politicians like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
It was agents from the New York office involved in investigating former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner—the estranged husband of Clinton aide Huma Abedin—who confronted Comey in his office on October 27, 2016 with claims that important new evidence on the Clinton email server had been found on Weiner’s laptop.
What ensued was an openly political debate, with the New York agents pressing for a search warrant and a message to be sent to Congress that the Clinton investigation was being reopened. Comey acknowledged that at least one member of his staff said, “Should you consider that what you’re about to do may help elect Donald Trump president?”
Comey sanctimoniously claimed that he was above such political considerations at the meeting, although he admits being aware that the announcement of a reopened investigation would have a huge impact. The next day, he sent “private letters” to the top Republicans and Democrats on eight congressional committees, knowing that the contents would be released to the media almost immediately.
As Thursday’s hearing went on, a series of Democratic senators sought unsuccessfully to get Comey to release more information about the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence operatives who allegedly hacked the email system of the Democratic National Committee as well as the email of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
They were joined by several Republicans in portraying Russian hacking as a dire threat to the US political system and to American corporations. Democrat Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota declared, “Russia is actively working to undermine our democracy and hurt American businesses at the same time.” She was echoed a few minutes later by Republican Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who coaxed from Comey the declaration that as far as the US political system is concerned, Russia is “the greatest threat of any nation on earth, given their intention and their capability.”
The Democrats sought to connect the allegations of Russian hacking with demands for the appointment of a special prosecutor to oversee the FBI investigation and any criminal cases that are brought as a result. Al Franken of Minnesota asked Comey if Trump’s tax returns would be relevant in such an investigation, but Comey declined to answer. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut asked directly if Trump was a target of the investigation, and got the same non-response.
While the Democrats and Republicans were at each other’s throats through much of the hearing, re-litigating the role of the FBI during the 2016 elections, they were strikingly united on one issue: securing as much authority as possible for the FBI to spy on American citizens.
Senator after senator declared their support for reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which gives the intelligence agencies the power to intercept communications between Americans and foreigners, and to incorporate the Americans into the vast databases developed on the pretext of combating “terrorism,” but providing an insight into the political views of millions of Americans.
They also endorsed the FBI director’s campaign to gain access to encrypted hardware and software systems, first made public after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California, when Comey waged a public campaign to force Apple to break the encryption of its iPhone.
Comey responded at one point, “I think there’s good news on that front. We’ve had very good, open and productive conversations with the private sector over the last 18 months about this issue, because everybody realized we care about the same things.” He claimed that the US manufacturers were going to develop privacy and security features that would make it possible for them to obey court orders to produce communications.
He added ominously, “I could imagine a world that ends up with legislation saying, if you’re going to make devices in the United States, you figure out how to comply with court orders, or maybe we don’t go there. But we are having productive conversations, right now I think.”
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GOP Cheers a Big Victory. But Has It...

Carter Page gets list of demands about Russia ties from Senate Intel Committee

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Carter PageCarter Page. Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters
The Senate Intelligence Committee appears to have sent Carter Page and other Trump associates a letter on April 28 asking them to provide extensive information about any contact they had with Russian officials or representatives of Russian business interests since June 2015.
Page, an early foreign-policy adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign, volunteered to be interviewed by the committee in March as part of its investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether Trump's associates colluded with Kremlin officials.
The committee, led by Republican Sen. Richard Burr and Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, asks Page to make himself available for a "closed interview with designated committee staff to be scheduled for a mutually agreeable time," according to the letter, a copy of which Page sent to Business Insider.
Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, and Roger Stone received similar letters, according to the New York Times. Manafort served as Trump's campaign chairman and Flynn was Trump's former national security adviser. Stone is an informal adviser to Trump.
Representatives for Burr and Warner did not respond to requests for comment.
Ahead of the closed interview, the letter asks Page to provide "a list of all meetings between you and any Russian official or representative of Russian business interests which took place between June 16, 2015, and January 20, 2017," including "the date, location, all individuals present, and complete copies of any notes taken by you or on your behalf."
It also asks for information about any financial holdings Page had in Russia between June 2015-January 2017.  Trump announced his presidential campaign on June 15, 2015, and was inaugurated on January 20, 2017. 
It is unclear whether Flynn, Manafort, and Stone were asked to provide the same information.
Page was also asked to submit "all communications records such as email or text messages, written correspondence, and phone records, of communications which took place between June 16, 2015, and January 20, 2017, to which you and any Russian official or representative of Russian business interests was a party." 
Additionally, the committee asked Page to provide a fuller look into whether anyone else in the Trump campaign may have spoken to or about Russians or Russia. 
It requests "all communication records ... related in any way to Russia, conducted between you and members and advisors of the Trump campaign," as well as "a list of all meetings of which you are aware between any individual affiliated with the Trump campaign and any Russian official or representative of Russian business" between June 16, 2015, and January 20, 2017.
The letter is dated about four days after reports surfaced that more than three months into the committee's investigation, it hadn't issued any subpoenas or requested any key documents such as emails, memos, and phone records from members or associates of the Trump campaign, according to multiple media outlets.
According to Yahoo, Burr had "failed to respond to requests from the panel's Democrats to sign letters" asking for such documents. Burr's signature appears on the letter to Page.
Richard Burr Mark WarnerSenate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Mark Warner, left, and Chairman Richard Burr. AP Photo/Susan Walsh
Page sent a lengthy response, a copy of which he provided to Business Insider.
"Although you set a range of suggested deadlines for the various extensive administrative tasks on your list over the coming weeks, I instead decided to initially get back to you today on the National Day of Prayer," Page wrote to the committee in a letter dated May 4.
"Having survived the hate crimes committed against me by the Clinton/Obama regime which were in some part pursued due to my Roman Catholic faith ... finding strength through prayer in my church and by myself has remained a core source of support throughout this ongoing comically fake inquiry," he said.
Page addressed the committee's requests, which he referred to as "cumbersome chores."
He said that while he remained "committed to helping the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in any way that I can ... please note that any records I may have saved as a private citizen with limited technology capabilities will be minuscule in comparison to the full database of information which has already been collected under the direction of the Obama administration during last year's completely unjustified FISA warrant that targeted me for exercising my First Amendment rights."
The FBI obtained a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act last summer to monitor Page's communications, The Washington Post reported in April. The FBI reportedly is investigatingPage's trips to Moscow and contact with at least one Russian official last year.
"As a lone individual, I can assure you that my personal administrative capabilities pale in comparison to the clerical juggernaut represented by the numerous staff in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the US government which have heretofore been allegedly involved in this unscrupulous surveillance for many months on end," Page wrote.
Page previously told Business Insider he thought the FISA requests were "unjustified." But the government's application for the warrant targeting Page has been renewed more than once, The Post reported, and "included a lengthy declaration that laid out investigators' basis for believing that Page was an agent of the Russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow." 

Washington Free Beacon: Kaine: Comey Letter ‘Probably the Lowest Moment in the History of the FBI’ 

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Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.) told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Friday that the letter FBI Director James Comey sent to Congress days before the 2016 election notifying lawmakers of the reopened investigation into Hillary Clinton's email practices was "probably the lowest moment in the history of the FBI" next to wiretapping Martin Luther King Jr.
Clinton on Tuesday attributed her loss in the 2016 presidential election to Comey's letter, insisting that she "was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on Oct. 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off."
The following day, Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and discussed why he sent the letter to Congress and the 2016 election more broadly.
Camerota asked Kaine, Clinton's running mate on the 2016 Democratic ticket, if he agreed with the former secretary of state when she "seemed to hang the loss at the feet of Director James Comey."
"I think the testimony made something really plain," Kaine responded. "There were two rules that the FBI follows with respect to elections. They don't talk about ongoing investigations and don't put out controversial material on the eve of an election."
Comey "made the decision himself to break both of those rules with respect to the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, and he made a decision to follow the rules and keep silent about the investigation into the Trump campaign's connections with a Russian effort to destabilize the American electoral process," Kaine continued.
Camerota then asked Kaine if he agreed with Clinton that Comey's letter was the "biggest factor" in deciding the outcome of the election.
"I didn't say that," Kaine responded. "I'm just saying Director Comey testified this week, and he made it very plain that he broke the FBI rules with respect to the Clinton campaign, and he chose not to break the rules with respect to the Trump campaign. And that was a factor."
The Virginia Democrat then called Comey's letter one of the FBI's "lowest moments" in its history.
"It will go down as probably the lowest moment in the history of the FBI, probably next to the decision of J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap Martin Luther King. And it was unfortunate," Kaine said.
"But look," Kaine added, pivoting to the American Health Care Act, "we're all now in our places with jobs to do, and chief among those jobs is protecting the health care of all Americans."
The House voted to pass the Republican plan to replace Obamacare on Thursday.


 Washington Free Beacon

Comey - Google News: Kaine: Comey Letter 'Probably the Lowest Moment in the History of the FBI' - Washington Free Beacon

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Washington Examiner

Kaine: Comey Letter 'Probably the Lowest Moment in the History of the FBI'
Washington Free Beacon
Sen. Tim Kaine (D., Va.) told CNN's Alisyn Camerota on Friday that the letter FBI Director JamesComey sent to Congress days before the 2016 election notifying lawmakers of the reopened investigation into Hillary Clinton's email practices was "probably ...
Tim Kaine accuses Comey of double standard with Clinton probeWashington Examiner
Kaine: Comey letter among 'lowest' parts of FBI historyThe Hill

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russia helping trump - Google News: The Senate sent a revealing list of demands to Carter Page about his Russia ties - Business Insider

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Business Insider

The Senate sent a revealing list of demands to Carter Page about his Russia ties
Business Insider
Page, an early foreign-policy adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign team, volunteered to be interviewed by the committee in March as part of its investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether associates of President ...
Here's What The Senate Intel Committee Wants From Former Trump Adviser Carter PageThe Daily Caller

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 russia helping trump - Google News

felix sater - Google News: Report: Lawmaker who held secret 'peace plan' meeting with Trump's lawyer has been stripped of his Ukrainian ... - Business Insider

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Business Insider

Report: Lawmaker who held secret 'peace plan' meeting with Trump's lawyer has been stripped of his Ukrainian ...
Business Insider
Andrey Artemenko was expelled from Ukraine's Radical Party and has been accused of treason by Ukrainian prosecutors for meeting with Michael Cohen, Trump's lawyer, and businessmanFelix Sater in New York on January 27 to discuss a plan that would ...

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 felix sater - Google News

Russia Review by Topics from mikenova (31 sites): Russia and US Presidential Elections of 2016 - Google News: Why Russians, Chinese Backed Trumped in the U.S. Presidential Election - U.S. News & World Report

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U.S. News & World Report

Why Russians, Chinese Backed Trumped in the U.S. Presidential Election
U.S. News & World Report
Perhaps no recent event had larger consequences for the rest of the world, however, than the2016 U.S. presidential election. And in that case, the world didn't get its way. Had that vote been global, about 60 percent of people would have backed ...

roger stone - Google News: Roger Stone Calls for Resignation of 'Incompetent Ass' Steve Bannon: 'You Are Part of the Problem' - Mediaite

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Mediaite

Roger Stone Calls for Resignation of 'Incompetent Ass' Steve Bannon: 'You Are Part of the Problem'
Mediaite
Donald Trump consigliere, Roger Stone, took to Twitter Thursday to slam White House strategist Steven Bannon and call for the former Breitbart chairman's resignation. In a pair of zingers, Stone said that Bannon was “part of the problem” for failing to ...



 roger stone - Google News
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Kaine: Comey letter among 'lowest'...

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Kaine: Comey letter among 'lowest' parts of FBI history

The Hill - ‎2 hours ago‎
Sen. Tim Kaine · Tim KaineKaine: Comey letter among 'lowest' parts of FBI history Democrats exploring lawsuit against Trump Overnight Defense: US moving missile defense system to South Korea | Dems want justification for Syria strike | Army pick pushes ...

'Go Back in the Woods': Judge Jeanine Sounds Off on Hillary's New 'Resistance'

Fox News Insider - ‎3 hours ago‎
Hillary Clinton is set to launch a new political action committee, Onward Together, to back so-called "resistance" groups who oppose President Trump. Clinton made headlines earlier this week for her interview with Christiane Amanpour, where she placed ...

Tim Kaine: FBI's decision in Hillary Clinton email case 'lowest moment' in its history

Washington Times - ‎4 hours ago‎
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., speaks at the Jefferson College of Health Sciences at the Carilion Clinic on Monday, Jan. 30, 2017, in Roanoke, Va. (Stephanie Klein-Davis/The Roanoke Times via AP) ** FILE ** more >. Print. By Sally Persons - The Washington ...

Hillary Clinton's new 'Onward Together' group smells like Clinton Foundation 2.0

Washington Times - ‎5 hours ago‎
FILE - In this Nov. 6, 2016 file photo, then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at Mt Airy Church of God In Christ in Philadelphia. President Donald Trump on Thursday, May 4, 2017, signed a new executive order aimed at ... more ...

Pollsters Find 'At Best Mixed Evidence' Comey Letter Swayed Election

Public Radio Tulsa - ‎1 hour ago‎
Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at North Carolina State University on November 8, 2016. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images. Originally published on May 5, 2017 10:12 am. FBI Director ...

Tim Kaine accuses Comey of double standard with Clinton probe

Washington Examiner - ‎3 hours ago‎
Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., believes FBI Director James Comey applied a double standard in providing details about the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails while remaining largely silent about a probe of Donald Trump's campaign. (AP Photo/J. Scott ...
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fbi - Google News: Kaine: Comey letter among 'lowest' parts of FBI history - The Hill

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The Hill

Kaine: Comey letter among 'lowest' parts of FBI history
The Hill
“I think it will go down as probably the lowest moment in the history of the FBI, probably next to the decision of [former FBI Director] J. Edgar Hoover to wiretap Martin Luther King,” he said Friday on CNN's “New Day.” “It was unfortunate.” Kaine, who ...
Tim Kaine: FBI's decision in Hillary Clinton email case 'lowest moment' in its historyWashington Times

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 fbi - Google News

Merkel Takes on Trump Over Demands for German NATO Spending - Bloomberg

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Bloomberg

Merkel Takes on Trump Over Demands for German NATO Spending
Bloomberg
“As much as the U.S. government demands meeting NATO's 2 percent defense spending goal by 2024, we will stand just as much by our 0.7 percent spending for development aid,” Merkel told an industry club in Hamburg on Friday. Germany spends about ...
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NYT > Home Page: Senate Asks Trump Associates for Records of Communication With Russians

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The step by the Senate Intelligence Committee in its investigation into Russian election meddling may be a way to open a path to subpoenas if needed.



 NYT > Home Page

After promising to cooperate, ex-Trump adviser Carter Page doesn’t immediately provide Russia details to Senate

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